Is this theft?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Is this theft?

My ex fiance broke off the engagement, no
fault of mine. He wasn’t ready.
We agreed that I keep the ring because he
broke the engagement, together 2 years.
Then he refused to give me the GIA certificate.
Doesn’t the paperwork belong to the owner of
the ring? He sent a video today of him burning
it. The ring is worth much more with the

Asked on October 30, 2018 under Family Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

This is NOT theft. He gifted you the ring; when someone makes a gift, he is free to decide what to include in the gift and what to not include. For example, if I give somone my collection of vintage albums, I am free to remove and keep some of the album covers and liner notes if I like the art and want to keep them--even though those nominally "go with" the albums. Because this was a gift--something I am freely doing and which I was not required to give--I have 100% discretion to decide to hold part of back. Similarly, your ex-fianace did not have any legal obligation to give you a ring: he freely chose to do so. Having freely chosen to give it to you, he was free to give you only the ring and not the certificate. Look at this way: the ring may be worth less without the certificate than it would be with it, but it's a (presumably) diamond ring you were given for free, so anything it is worth puts you ahead of the game.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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